Find your target audience.
Hearing this term again and again make me crazy because I couldn’t understand how I will find my target audience?
I know there are certain ways which can take you to your customers. But how will you know who is interested in your products beyond assumptions?
With a little research, I come across to the way one can walk on to attract those having a keen interest in your products or services.
That way is none other than LinkedIn Groups.
8000 new groups are created daily on LinkedIn giving businesses more leads!- @WeRSM
LinkedIn Group is the place where you don’t need to go separately to find out where your customers are. In fact, they will come to you if they want to buy from you.
But it’s tricky.
LinkedIn Groups are the lock with rare keys. This is not a place where you will find potential customers with sales pitches or in sincere comments. This is the place where you need to put efforts providing value to your users.
Through this article, you will learn what efforts one should put to fetch potential customers via LinkedIn Group.
1. Put User-Generated Conversations in Front
Tell me who will be interested in your products or services?
Obviously, people who are talking about it.
Why not give these people a place to discuss in-depth and find a solution too? LinkedIn groups are home to people looking for answers- Salesforce.com
LinkedIn Group is a community based discussion forum where you should put the topics your customers are talking about and give them answers too. I robbed this strategy from Swip Systems, a custom software development company, who gathered data on what its audience want to talk about and started a LinkedIn Group named “Midwest Manufacturing Leaders”. This group is full of discussions and content, manufacturers often talk about.
Have a look on Tom Swip’s, owner of the group, recent question with answer on the board:
Today, this Group has 6000+ members with competency to get new clients and raise brand-awareness.
Takeaway: Gather data regarding what your targeted audience is talking about and put the same conversation on your LinkedIn Groups.
How to Find “What Your Customers are Talking About”?
Let me give you my own example:
Being a content marketer at SocialPilot, a comprehensive social media scheduling tool and one of the most advanced LinkedIn marketing tools my targeted audience is: small and medium sized business and marketing agencies.
To target this type of audience, I will start a LinkedIn group named “Social Media Marketing Takeaways” because SMBs and marketing agencies are always in a hunt of tips to increase their customers from Social Media. Also, this topic is relevant to my industry.
Next, I want to put topics that SMBs and marketing agencies are generally talking about. This is how I will find them:
That’s my first stop whenever I want to know about problems my audience is facing. On Quora, I will just type “Social Media Marketing” to get a whole list of topics users must be interested in.
Here’s a screenshot of queries on Quora that I can put to discussion on LinkedIn Group:
After Quora, next stop to find out user-generated topics is Forums. Typing “keywords + forum” in Google will give you a list of sites where discussions take place – relevant to your industry.
I typed “Social media marketing forum” in Google and got Warrior Forum at the top. Clicking on link took me to questions my audience would like to have answers for:
3. Join Other Groups
Joining others groups on LinkedIn, Facebook or wherever you prefer will also give you a good idea of most debatable topics.
Here’s a list of queries I found on Search Engine Land’s LinkedIn Group:
2. Focus on One Market at a Time
One question hit me badly when I checked out “Midwest Manufacturing Leader” group is: why would a software development company start a group of manufacturing leaders? A software development company can target people from all niches. After all, in today’s generation, every company needs a software or app.
Then why only manufacturers?
Josh Turner, Founder of LinkedSelling, explained this concept in an interview with Mixergy:
“You know, as far as LinkedIn goes, it’s difficult really to build a campaign that’s going to work really well if you’re trying to be all things to all people. Let’s zero in on a niche or a vertical that works really well for you guys, and manufacturing was one that really stood out.”
Takeaway: Even if your targeted audience belongs to multiple markets, focusing on one market at a time, for creating a LinkedIn Group, would benefit you the most.
3. Ask Easy-to-Answer Questions
One of the best ways to get users contribute to your LinkedIn Group is asking them questions which are extremely easy to answer.
There was a question I came across to during my visits to LinkedIn Groups:
Isn’t it easy to offer advice for H1 tags? You can see the results: 43 Comments with 22 Likes.
Or you can ask something as simple as “how you got into social media marketing?” This will lead members to share their own stories while making your group more interesting to put conversations in.
Users like to offer help whenever possible, but only if it comes at the cost of little time. Questions demanding enormous time will get lesser engagement than the one taking a minute or two to answer.
Takeaway: Ask questions that take only 1 minute to answer.
4. Post Your Own Threads and Participate
With a newly built LinkedIn Group, it is close to impossible to get users participate in discussions.
Here’s the trick:
You and your members can genuinely contribute to the discussions.
More comments than discussions indicates highly engaged members, whereas many discussions and few comments indicate a group with little real activity and lots of self-promotion. - Socialmediaexaminer
Simon Lewis, group owner of The UK Marketing Network, calls it a content strategy.
One of his proven tactics is get the group managers to join in threads and conversations. In his case study of growing a LinkedIn Group beyond 50K members, he said that initially group managers were generating threads and participated in discussions. Things started taking off only when the group reached to 10K members.
Takeaway: Start your own threads. Tell your members to share their opinions. Once you have good number of threads with wise discussions from other members, you can send invitation to your connections. But don’t stop there. Keep up with your threads and discussions till your group has enormous members to initiate a chat.
5. A Secret LinkedIn Hack: One-on-One
Do you know, sending personalized mails to users is actually a hack for those who want to generate leads?
When you send a LinkedIn Group invitation to your contacts, LinkedIn sends an auto-generated welcome message which is: “I would like to invite you to join my group on LinkedIn”.
What if you make it the way like it is made for the person to whom you are sending invitation? Yes, I am pointing to personalized message or you can also name it one-on-one message.
Why does it matter?
As per SocialMediaExaminer, an auto-generated LinkedIn message has about 1% chance of getting someone to your group.
If you want people to take a genuine interest in your group, you have to give them some strong get-connect reasons. That’s possible only when you design a message or mail made for users.
Jill Konrath is an expert of sending personalized emails and LinkedIn messages.
Here is her well-crafted LinkedIn Group invitationemail to members:
LinkedIn Group Invitation Mail
Key Points to Include:
- What user will get from your group
- Which problems your group can solve
- Resources or Freebies you provide
- Call-to-Action like “Join Now”
- Unique selling points of your group
- Branding of your company and group
But, it’s not the end here.
You have to send a thank-you mail when users join or ask to join your group.
I received the below given mail when I asked to join Fresh Sales Strategies Group:
Thanks to Join the Group Message
Once you accept the request, it’s time to send a welcome message:
LinkedIn Group Welcome Message
Points you should cover:
- A warm welcome
- Group rules
- A humble request to invite others
Once members join your group, you need to keep sending emails regarding updates, announcements, important conversation that fit their field, etc. Make sure, you do it once in a week as frequent mails may make them helpless to leave your group.
Don't forget to constantly monitor your engagement statistics to understand what is working and what is not using LinkedIn analytics tools like Socialpilot, Unmetric, Socialinsider to name a few.
Where does it all take you?
I know that’s too much. An invitation, a thank-you note and a welcome message. The purpose is to bring “targeted audience” in conversations, make them aware of your brand, let them know how they need you without being promotional and then drive them towards conversion.
So, do you have LinkedIn Group or thinking to start the one?